U15 girls and U14 boys take to the volleyball court today in Waterloo
Friday, April 6, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
ST. THOMAS - The St. Thomas Express is set for their first appearance at the Ontario Volleyball Association provincial championships.
The Express' under-15 girls and U14 boys take to the court, starting today, at RIM Park, in Waterloo. The U13 and U14 girls, follow on April 20-22.
Known as Spikes St. Thomas since 2011, the club went through a rebrand in 2017, creating a name and logo that reflects the railway heritage of St. Thomas.
The Express with their unique steam engine logo, offers competitive and house league programs. (Visit: St. Thomas Express)
"From a club stand point, we laid some really great ground work in terms of administration. We have great people doing great work. The leadership is strong and the technical direction is outstanding," club president and coach Dennis Dlouhy said. "The kids benefit from being part of a well oiled machine even though we're just a small club."
Each of the competitive teams already have accomplished varying degrees of success at tournaments.
"They have exceeded all expectations," said Dlouhy. "Whether they are high in the standings or low in the standings, they have all demonstrated a lot of improvement. We're ecstatic. It's been a great first year. The kids have done really, really well."
Both the U15 girls and U14 boys' teams, start day one of their provincials, with three matches each today. Those results will determine pools on Saturday, followed by quarter-finals, semis and finals, on Sunday.
"I want them to constantly find ways to enjoy the game, enjoy each other and enjoy the experience. Then demonstrate the best technique that they possibly can," Dlouhy said. "I hope they can peak this weekend, doing the absolutely best that they can."
During the season, one of the U15 girls' highlights was a 10-2 record at a tournament in London, winning all but one match.
The ever growing and popular house league and grass roots programs develop players for the Express competitive teams.
"We've probably had close to 300 kids go through our house league and grass roots programs," said Dlouhy, who credits technical director Peter Testa for putting together the curriculum, for players from Grade one to U16.
In January, the U13 girls brought home a bronze medal, from the McGregor Cup, held in Chatham.